Debate Over Proposed Financial Speculation Tax

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January 25, 2010

Debate Over Proposed Financial Speculation Tax

2:00 pm
Cannon House Office Building
Room 121
Independence Ave. & First St., S.E.
Washington, D.C.

CEPR co-director Dean Baker participated in this debate about a Financial Speculation Tax (a.k.a. Financial Transactions Tax) with Dr. Jim Angel (professor at McDonough Business School at Georgetown University), Robert Pollin (professor and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts), and George Sauter (managing director and chief investment officer, Vanguard Group, Inc.). Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen, will moderate.

Congressional interest in a speculation tax is growing quickly, as anger builds against Wall Street and the need for new sources of revenue increases.

Internationally, the U.K. has had a tax on stock trades for decades. Recently, French President Nicolas Sarkozy publicly embraced a version of the tax, and the G-20 is now considering how such a tax on a global scale could help pay for climate change programs.

Opponents say a speculation tax will interfere with the functioning of capital markets and hurt regular people. Proponents say it could raise funds from the rich while deterring the harmful churning of stocks and financial instruments.

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